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A little unrelated but kind of not

November 17th, 2010

Ok, I know it's not really "art," but for the past few days I've felt so creatively recharged! After living in my condo for 3 years, I FINALLY got around to painting the walls and making it feel less like a college dorm and more like home. For a while I've really been burnt out on living where I do, and I've been set on saving up some money and moving. But I have to admit, now that things are painted and I'm finally starting to weed out the hand-me-downs and bring in pieces of my own style and taste, this place isn't half bad! I suppose there will be things you like and dislike about where you live, no matter where you end up, but I guess my point is that just by making some little changes, I'm more okay with where I am, and I can stop stressing out about wanting to move. (I suppose it helps that I have a great boyfriend helping me out with the whole thing too, but that's another story ;) He's great.)

Anyway, the reason I felt the need to post this in my ART blog was because paint....is paint. No, I wasn't painting murals or creating works of art on my previously white walls, but I was painting. And I'll tell you one thing, when 1am rolled around and I realized that I still wasn't in bed because I was too "in the task," it was a great feeling. Not so much this morning because I'm dead tired, but at the time, I felt that art rush. So much so, that I've decided that today when I run to Hobby Lobby to pick up a lamp shade, I'm stocking up on a few canvas panels, getting a few new paint colors and getting started with a few new pieces as soon as I have my living room back in shape! What a silly way to reignite the creativity...paint my living room! :) Maybe I'll post a picture or two when I get it all set up and decorated for Christmas :)

Get CREATIVE and save money this Holiday Season

October 25th, 2010

A friend of mine pointed this fact out to me today: Today is October 25...which means Christmas is exactly two months away!

Wow. That's crazy to think about! As a Christmas celebrator, I have always been a big "gift giver." It's always been more important to me to give a great gift than to receive an extravagant one. I spoil my loved ones as best as I can, and I have always had a hard time accepting gifts...especially the expensive or extravagant. Call it crazy, but that's me! With my giving nature, these last few years have been pretty difficult around Christmas. Obviously, with the economy taking a nose dive just after my college graduation (convenient, right?) finding and holding a good job was hard, and it made my limited funds and limited income go straight to the necessary bills, instead of spoiling my loved ones like I love to do. Thankfully, I realized that there is no better gift than one from the heart. For a while before that first "financially strapped Christmas," I struggled with trying to figure out who I would buy gifts for, what they would be, and how I could afford to divide my "financial showing of love" between all of the people who deserved it. Then, the obvious seemed to dawn on me. "Why not spend less? Get small gifts for a few friends, but spend time and love CREATING gifts for those closest to the heart!" And you know, I have to say that I have never felt happier with my gift choice. Sure, while an autographed guitar was a great gift for my dad one year, the appreciation didn't compare to his receiving of a hand-drawn sketch from me this last year. What cost me a lot less money created a bigger reaction. And isn't that really what we're looking for when we give a great gift? We want a great reaction. It's not about what you spend or where you shopped...it's about how much the person loves their gift. And a gift from the heart will ALWAYS win over a gift from deep pockets.

If you haven't considered a heartfelt gift this year, I suggest you give it a try. I know there are many of you out there who struggle financially. Put your financial worries aside this Christmas and try to get a little creative. If you paint, whip up a few paintings. If you bake, try putting together decorative "cookie recipe jars." (There are tons of recipes for these in current magazines!) If you're a writer, why not compose a personalized poem, story or other work for a recipient? Basically, if you have any kind of talent that you believe can be showcased, put it to use!

Now if you're still sitting there thinking, "But I don't have a talent and I'm financially strapped! What do I do?!" you can always get in touch with me and take advantage of my artistic talents. Think about some artwork as a gift. After all, my "half price" sale is still going on if you'd like to order a custom art piece. And if you don't have an idea for a custom piece, all of my previous works can be purchased, either as originals or prints. The great people at FineArtAmerica (the site you're currently on, of course) have helped me set up my print shop, and you can buy prints of my pieces for even less than it would cost for an original...and you get it delivered to your door.

So take some time to think before you start your holiday shopping this year. Take this opportunity to explore your creative side...even if you didn't know you had one! Explore those talents you have, whether big or small. Use your spare time wisely and I guarantee you will surprise yourself! Save some money this year, give a gift from the HEART!

So Many Opportunities and Decisions

October 1st, 2010

Well, first blog post....underway! I'm new to this website and community, but the best way to draw interest and activity is to be active and creative, right? Well, that's what I think! So here we go. It's October 1...a new month, a new season, and a BUNCH of new opportunities have already been thrown my way. The only thing that's not new about October 1...is the week. It's Friday, and let me tell you...TGIF. Really.

It's always been a "silly dream" of mine to be able to ditch the 9-5 world and create artwork full time as my career. The dreamer in me would have loved to go to college, take nothing but art classes and "create" for the rest of my life, but the practical, mature, adult side of me (well, as mature and adult as anyone can be at 18 years old) decided to go to college, get my Bachelors Degree, and enter the crazy 9-5 world of business that was really meant for "left brained people." (That's just a matter of opinion of course, but hey, it is what it is.) For a few years since college, I've really struggled to settle into a place long enough to feel that what I was doing was truly a career choice. Between lay-offs, unemployment, horrible bosses, pathetic jobs and not enough pay, I've never really been happy in the corporate world. Sure, it pays the bills...well, most of them...but it involves zero passion, zero creativity and absolutely zero freedom to change. The job I have at this very moment (where I'm blogging from, actually) has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the fact that I work part time hours, allowing me ample time to create and be inspired before the sun goes down and my brain is too tired from a long day of work. It allows me a fairly "brain-free" day of working at a desk, which gives my imagination time to dream up what piece I'll be working on when I return home and can get my hands on my materials. It's a curse in the fact that it's what I truly depend on to pay my bills, keep my income flowing and give me stability. It's what I HAVE to depend on to avoid selling my home, car, and giving up on art completely. However, in the middle of this "blessing versus curse" battle, I've recently found a happy medium. With communities like this, facebook and my own personal website, I've been able to balance business and art...and even throw my fitness career back on track. It's surely not ideal (having 3 jobs never is!) but it's finally balanced. And in comes October...and I already have decisions to make.

Within the last week, I've had two major opportunities thrown my way. With the artwork, I can't really say too much about WHAT the opportunity will be, but let's just say that if it works out the way I'm hoping, I might finally be able to be a full-time artist. On the other hand, I received a full-time offer at my current job. It's basically a promotion, ensuring me full-time hours, benefits and a "career path," which would be great if I decided that this was the route I want to take. The up side to this offer: full time hours, benefits, salaried pay (or at least a consistent paycheck), room for growth, and a major resume boost. The down side: less time to focus on my art, fitness and music (my true passions) and less free time to focus my brain elsewhere. So it's decision time. Not today and maybe not even this week, but sometime this month, I really have to make a decision. Do I stick with the corporate job that I don't really enjoy but offers me dependability, stability, medical benefits and everything that's "smart?" Or do I turn down the promotion, allowing myself the free time to create? Or (and this would be ideal) do I wait it out and see what happens with this artistic opportunity before I give an answer and then say no if the art offer is a yes...therefore jeopardizing this job offer by frustrating them and making them wait?

Decisions....decisions.

Until I decide....it's painting time! :) Happy Friday everyone.